How can I Reduce Strains in the Workplace?October 7, 2021
This year, a new scientific study was announced to test out wearable robotics to alleviate or prevent strains and sprains in the workplace. This study is in progress.
In the workplace, there are tasks requiring endurance in lifting or repetitive motions. This raises the risk of strain injuries. The job of reducing these risks is the responsibility of employers and employees. It needs the cooperation of both management and workers to succeed.
Responsibility for a Reduction of Workplace Strains is a Shared Endeavor
Both management and workers have responsibilities to reduce employee strains.
A strain is an injury to one’s muscle or tendon; the latter is connective tissue between muscles and bones. A strain can be from a stretch to a tear. A sprain affects the ligament connecting two or more bones at a joint.
Causes of Strains at Work
Primarily, the causes of a strain injury are ergonomic from the workplace conditions. These are some of the workplace risk factors:
- Physical workplace tasks can be too difficult or too repetitive. Either way, muscles fatigue, which can lead to more than a strain.
- In workplaces where time and tasks are closely linked, a worker is expected to move effectively and quickly, which can lead to twists, turns, and other movements that lead to strains.
- Human body joints work best at the mid-range motion of the joint. Pushing the motion past this mid-point repetitively or for sustained periods without recovery time can lead to strains and time off for injury.
- Finally, slip and fall accidents from slippery or broken or unstable surfaces can lead to a strain.
The Employer’s Responsibilities
Management must not only be conscious of risks of strains but also actively engage in a program to prevent and minimize injuries. Employers should check off these tasks:
- Assessment of all tasks’ physical demands to avoid joint and muscle strains. This may involve looking at motions, stress, and force loads.
- Analyze which tasks are repetitive and stressful, both physically and mentally.
- Identify how to monitor and evaluate repetitive motions to minimize risk of injury.
- Evaluate postures of workers to adopt protocols for regular periods of rest and recovery. Poor posture will result in reduced efficiency.
- Hire a qualified risk consultant to survey the entire workplace of environmental risks. Hazards can include hidden toxins and air-borne contagions. Risks can involve uneven floors, broken machinery, and other hazards.
The Worker’s Responsibilities
- Correct poor behaviors. Risky lifestyles outside the workplace can come with the worker to the job. These include smoking, overeating, impairment from drugs or alcohol, and poor sleep patterns. These behaviors should not be in the workplace.
- Attend to personal health matters. Annual physicals, taking prescription medications, and watching one’s weight can reduce the risk of strains at work. If the job includes lifting and turning and repetitive motions, try to stay in shape.
- Do not neglect medical attention for an existing injury or physical condition.
- Stay hydrated and fed on the job. Eat properly. Drink water instead of caffeinated beverages, which tend to dehydrate a person.
Working Together Leads to Wellness
Employers should implement and employees should attend a workplace wellness program. This program is educational for employees to identify risky tasks and how to avoid or reduce workplace strains. This program should not be a one-time event. It should be in place and have workers take refresher sessions.
Delaware County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Help Workers Recover from Workplace Strains
If you suffer a workplace strain or are concerned about your risks, speak to the Delaware County Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello today. Our experienced team can help build your case and secure the benefits you rightfully deserve. Learn more at a free consultation by filling out an online registration form or calling 610-892-4940. Our office is in Media, Pennsylvania. We represent clients in Media, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, West Chester, and throughout Pennsylvania.